Terry – Chelsea vs Barcelona – 2005

20 01 2011
David Dickson entertains an ever-growing Twitter audience @DKDickson and blogs at DaveyTalksBalls. It’s also worth mentioning that, if you’re an NFL fan, Dave can be also be found on Twitter @UKNFL .. Anyway, here’s a goal that’ll divide opinion …

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I’ve been watching Chelsea since about 1990. The law of averages would dictate that during this period, chances are I would see some pretty outstanding goals. However, my season ticket resided in the first row of the Shed End, with a view that was practically underground, for all its merits. Mario Stanic’s goal against West Ham was in front of the Matthew Harding Stand (at the other end), meaning I saw a bouncing ball walloped from what could have been the halfway line or the edge of the six yard box for all I knew. Gianfranco Zola’s flicked piece of liquid gold against Norwich was also at the other end, meaning I saw a corner followed by a net rippling instead of a career-defining piece of genius. Therefore, my favourite goal is not a moment of extreme skill. It’s not a goal I saw live either, regrettably. In fact, it’s probably not even a legal goal…
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I was in a drinking establishment in Reading when Chelsea played Barcelona in March 2005. Surrounded by friends and fans of other teams still erring on the side, and indeed novelty, of Chelsea being relatively entertaining, fresh and exciting as opposed to the football-ruining, arrogance-merchants we may be seen as today. A bad-tempered first leg ended in Didier Drogba being sent off, Chelsea being 2-1 down and Anders Frisk deciding against the occupation of refereeing. The second leg was set up deliciously, and didn’t disappoint. 
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For those with short memories, Chelsea in 2005 hadn’t been good for that long. Entertaining a Barcelona side of outstanding talent at Stamford Bridge was still a fairly new experience. Going 3-0 up at Stamford Bridge against Barcelona, therefore, was positively intergalactic. Drinks were flowing. I was delirious. Stamford Bridge, by the sound of it, felt the same…
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Then Ronaldinho happened. I say that because, in 2005, Ronaldinho was an event, as opposed to a mere mortal. A perfect penalty followed by a stellar piece of skill to toe-poke a ball past Petr Cech at the end of the first half left Barcelona in the driving seat with a pair of away goals, the tie standing at 4-4 on aggregate. For half an hour of the second half, we proceeded to battle, and battle, and battle. Barca would end the tie with another goal. They hit the post. We got closer and closer. The tie ebbed and flowed with unprecedented tension, leaving all watching breathless, clinging to whatever pool table they (personally) gripped… 
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There have been so, so many wonderful goals throughout history, and indeed, my twenty-five years on this earth. Skill-wise, there are probably millions better than this. Maradona, Maxi against Mexico, Tony Yeboah…the list goes on. But John Terry’s towering header, aided by Ricardo Carvalho’s extremely questionable tug on Victor Valdes, flying in to produce a victory against Barcelona for a team I had supported all my life beats them all hands down, in my head at least. We won a league title that season. But the real proof that the era of Chelsea’s true assault on football had begun laid within that goal. We had beaten Barcelona. A team who possessed everything we wanted. A team who, arguably, still do.   
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When I thought of writing something for this series, the key word I noted in its foreword was ‘favourite’. Not ‘best’. Not ‘greatest’. But ‘favourite’. In terms of the goals I have seen in my lifetime, few have meant as much, and have made me happier than that goal. It contains everything. A late winner, a captain’s goal, controversy, on the biggest stage of them all. Whilst the outcome (and indeed scorer) in the cold light of 2011 may not be popular, it will live in my memory for many years to come. 
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20 01 2011
Terry – Chelsea vs Barcelona – 2005 « GhostGoal | John Terry is JT

[…] the rest here: Terry – Chelsea vs Barcelona – 2005 « GhostGoal Related Posts:Barcelona FC – The Reason Why I Love'em – By Eslam Maher | WATCH … […]

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